I was very pleased with the explanations
that were sent in for solving this problem. I was particularly
pleased as it was not just a matter of using some arithmetic that
you knew but a real problem-solving exercise. Here are two from
Baston Primary School in England, the first from Georgia and the
second from Lee and Tom.
We solved the problem by moving the balls around a meter stick.
We found out that if you use up all of the big balls then getting
smaller it uses up exactly 1 metre. To get a shorter line we found
out that you have to put the smaller balls in between the big
balls. Putting the balls in a different way does change how long
the line is because every ball is round and the bigger balls tower
over the smaller balls so basically the small balls go under the
big balls. Solution for longest:
football, netball, basketball, cricket ball, hockey ball,
tennis ball, golf ball, snooker ball, squash ball
1 metre exactly
Solution for shortest:
hockey ball, netball, golf ball, tennis ball, squash ball,
football, cricket ball, snooker ball, basket ball
We picked this investigation because we thought it would take a
lot of solving. We have taken some pictures to show what the balls
looked like in a row. We can prove one is shorter because the short
one is 87cm and the long one is 1 metre the diameter is the
length from one side to the other but going though the
Football= 207mm cricket=68mm basket-ball= 226mm netball= 223mm
Golf=ball=42mm Tennis-ball=67mm Snooker=ball=62mm
Our method was arranging balls in different orders and see what
we got we have. We have also got the diameters of the
cricket ball 68mm, football 207mm, basketball 226mm, hockeyball
73mm, squash ball 40mm, netball 223mm, golf ball 42mm, tennis ball
67mm, snooker ball 62mm.
We also have a little tip for those who think if you line the
balls up in different orders the diameter of the line of balls
stays the same: let's say you had three balls: two large and
one small. You put one big ball by the side and a small
in the middle and another big one on the opposite side of the small
one and line them up on the floor. The gap between the big
balls is small but if you put the middle ball in the air in the
middle of the big balls and push the balls together the gap between
the big balls is bigger.
Then from JESS Jumeirah in Dubai United
Arab Emirates, three solutions were sent in from Rae, Angus and
The arrangement that is shortest is: Basketball, snooker,
squash, netball, cricket, golf, tennis, football, hocky.
The arrangement that is longest is: Squash, golf, snooker,
tennis, cricket, hockey, football, basketball, netball.
This is my (Angus) solution for the 'Sports Equipment'.
The shortest line starts with the hockey ball, then the squash
ball, then the basketball, then the cricket ball, then the netball,
then the football, then the golf ball and finally the tennis
The Longest line starts with the basketball, then the netball,
then the football, then the hockey ball, then the cricket ball,
then the tennis ball, then the snooker ball, then the golf ball and
finally the squash ball.
(Craig) The answer to the problem is:
Shortest line: snooker ball, basketball, tennis ball,
netball, cricket ball, football, squash ball, golfball, the the
Longest line: basketball, netball, football, hockey ball,
cricket ball, tennis ball, snooker ball, golfball, then the squash
Well done all of you. But, have you
noticed that there are some different answers above. Perhaps you
would like to explore why?